Your detailed report on primary care group functions and the need for professional and management support ('Supra troupers', page 26, 14 January) was a timely contribution to the debate around the organisational development needs of primary care groups.
The research mentioned several possible sources of support, particularly on management issues - PCGs themselves, the health authority, existing primary care managers and trusts. But am I alone in seeing the future of community health trusts as inextricably linked with that of PCGs? Yet the knowledge and experience of people in community health trusts did not appear to have been considered.
Community trusts have dedicated professionals in finance, human resources, information analysis, IT, staff training, and other areas. We don't claim to have all the answers - far from it - but in the years when PCGs are likely to be concentrating on setting up their structures and working to improve primary care and community health services (rather than commissioning), we can benefit by working closely together.
In many instances, it may not be necessary - especially in the early days - to set up separate management support arrangements. Perhaps it would be more beneficial, given that community trusts and PCGs are destined to move increasingly closer, to build stronger, interdependent relationships from the start.
Optimum Health Services